Albertsons/Safeway 2018 & 2019: Openings and Closings

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3730
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by storewanderer » November 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am
The Westheimer/Shepherd store wasn't doing that well. It had some of the lowest produce sales in the region (not the lowest profit or the highest shrink--and as for how I know this, let's just say some paperwork got left out). The traffic snarls in the area prevent left turns at the nearby stoplight, and that also makes it difficult to get out.
Produce is an important department and I have noticed Albertsons/Safeway pricing on produce is "way off" compared to competitors in every market I visit. Sometimes, their center store pricing can be a little closer to Kroger (in places like Colorado, Arizona, or Oregon) on certain items (mostly things like canned soup, cake mix, canned vegetables, other heavily processed foods) but their produce pricing is always WAY off. Add Sprouts to the mix and it just makes them look even worse. So I am not sure what competitors are around this store but it may be produce is weaker than the store as a whole due to the pricing issues.

Bagels
Bronze Member
Bronze Member
Posts: 12
Joined: August 20th, 2018, 11:54 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by Bagels » November 10th, 2018, 1:39 am

storewanderer wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm
pseudo3d wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am
The Westheimer/Shepherd store wasn't doing that well. It had some of the lowest produce sales in the region (not the lowest profit or the highest shrink--and as for how I know this, let's just say some paperwork got left out). The traffic snarls in the area prevent left turns at the nearby stoplight, and that also makes it difficult to get out.
Produce is an important department and I have noticed Albertsons/Safeway pricing on produce is "way off" compared to competitors in every market I visit. Sometimes, their center store pricing can be a little closer to Kroger (in places like Colorado, Arizona, or Oregon) on certain items (mostly things like canned soup, cake mix, canned vegetables, other heavily processed foods) but their produce pricing is always WAY off. Add Sprouts to the mix and it just makes them look even worse. So I am not sure what competitors are around this store but it may be produce is weaker than the store as a whole due to the pricing issues.
Influential industry analysts have cited Albertsons’ high every day pricing, and reliance on heavy discounting to get people into the doors, as an obstacle toward its long term survival.

Albertson’s high prices are incredibly noticeable — in Southern California, the wholesale price for a dozen large eggs is ~$1.50 — nearly a 50% decrease since spring, when they reached a record high. Historically, eggs are a staple loss leader. Aldi, Smart & Final, CVS and Walgreens have been selling a dozen eggs for $1 to $1.50, while Stater Bros has an 18 ct. for $2. Ralph’s is at $3 and Albertsons/Vons... $4.

And last month was the height of the apple harvest season, and every retailer was promoting them. Aldi’s has a 3 lb. bag (from Michigan) of select varieties for $1. Sprouts went from .49 to .79 (from the Northwest), depending on the week. Ralph’s was at .77 (from Southern California) and Stater Bros at .99 (from Washington). Albertsons? $1.99, from Idaho. The reason I mention location, is because apples sourced from SoCal are considered the best (but incredibly rare to find on supermarket shelves these days due to limited production) with Northwest apples not far behind them. Apples from Idaho are considered on par with those from the Midwest and Northeast... which generally means far inferior. But sold at Albertsons for a premium...

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1319
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by Super S » November 10th, 2018, 7:19 am

Super S wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 7:27 am
storewanderer wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:57 pm
Super S wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:33 am


In Portland, it seems like Safeway is the stronger of the two brands. With that said though, it seems like more Safeway branded stores are now closing than the Albertsons branded stores. The locations closing seem to be more visible locations that should be doing well enough to stay open, particularly Vancouver's Mill Plain/136th location. It's getting hard to figure out now which direction they are going to go...at one point it looked like the Albertsons name would eventually disappear from the Portland market, now I am not so sure.
They are supposedly negotiating with the landlord of Mill Plain again... store might not close. Given the space has been being marketed for the past six months and it appears there are no takers, it would appear to be in everyone's best interest to work something out to keep the store open at least for the time being.

As far as who has the stronger brand goes, after all of the closures of the Albertsons banner over the years, many of the remaining stores are the very best representations of that brand. So the few stores that brand has left, are going to be above average type stores. Those stores are a cut above the typical Safeway with better perimeters (especially meat) and a wider mix of center store products (especially drug). Safeway on the other hand has been on a major decline for years, the stores suffer from a lack of capex, poor merchandising, inconsistent perimeter execution, and various other problems that I think got "resolved" in the Albertsons banner soon after Cerberus got control of their respective groups of stores (both the groups they got over a decade ago as well as the more recent Supervalu purchase), either through swift store closures or swift changes in operations. For some reason, Cerberus has not been able to fix these problems with the Safeway banner with the success they did with the Albertsons banner.
Well, considering that Safeway has made an official closing announcement, I have my doubts about the store staying open. I also doubt it would reopen as Albertsons considering they have already closed all but one Vancouver location.

And speaking of that one Vancouver location (Salmon Creek) it received a cheap Supervalu remodel which consisted of a wall repaint and rearranging a few aisles, but not repositioning lighting where the aisles ran a different direction before. It also retained the original blue-gray flooring. This one is certainly NOT the best representation of the Albertsons brand. Oddly, there is a Safeway about a mile south which is also still open, and Albertsons still has a store about the same distance from the Safeway in Battle Ground.

I don't think they are worried about the best representations when you see stores like Jantzen Beach closing.
I stand corrected now. In an interesting turn of events...136th & Mill Plain now is officially NOT CLOSING:

https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/nov ... stay-open/

I have to wonder now what the future plans here are. While there is a WinCo just down the road, this is an area which has rapidly grown and continues to do so. It's not an area retailers are abandoning, even though Albertsons did just that some time ago. It will be interesting to see how this ordeal affects sales at this location.

architect
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 742
Joined: December 8th, 2015, 3:41 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by architect » November 28th, 2018, 7:14 pm

pseudo3d wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am
The Westheimer/Shepherd store wasn't doing that well. It had some of the lowest produce sales in the region (not the lowest profit or the highest shrink--and as for how I know this, let's just say some paperwork got left out). The traffic snarls in the area prevent left turns at the nearby stoplight, and that also makes it difficult to get out.
I completely forgot about the traffic issues in the area which likely affected this store. To make matters worse, for an extended period a few years back, this section of Westheimer was under construction with frequent lane closures. With the draw of the Alabama/Dunlavy HEB popping up around the same time along with the Montrose Kroger renovating, this was simply a perfect storm against Randalls. I actually visited this store a couple of years ago and while the store seemed to be in excellent shape, there were maybe 5 customers in the entire storm around 9-9:30 PM while the nearby HEB (which I visited immediately after) was still well-trafficked at the time.

Side note, at least two more DFW stores are on the chopping block: the Tom Thumb at 3535 N. Belt Line in Irving and the Albertsons at 4126 S. Carrier Pkwy in Grand Prairie. Honestly, neither store is a surprise. The Irving store is still in decent shape and features Lifestyle decor, but is located in an area which is trending lower-income and is flanked by a much nicer Tom Thumb to the east at 4010 N. MacArthur Blvd. The Grand Prairie store hasn't seen any renovation in years and is located directly across the street from a Tom Thumb which just received a Colorful Lifestyle remodel along with other upgrades. Both of these closures are being reported by the Dallas Morning News, which reports that other closures may be also coming but have not been formerly announced by Albertsons.

Side note, both of these closing DFW stores would likely also be great locations for El Rancho Supermercado, with both being in close proximity to Hispanic-dominant areas.

architect
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 742
Joined: December 8th, 2015, 3:41 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by architect » November 28th, 2018, 10:03 pm

architect wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 7:14 pm
Side note, both of these closing DFW stores would likely also be great locations for El Rancho Supermercado, with both being in close proximity to Hispanic-dominant areas.
Update on this front: Take this with a grain of salt as I was just reading it on Facebook, but apparently El Rancho is taking over the Irving location at least.

rwsandiego
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 558
Joined: April 3rd, 2016, 10:57 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by rwsandiego » December 4th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Add a Safeway opening to the tally. New store opens this week in Queen Creek, AZ.

architect
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 742
Joined: December 8th, 2015, 3:41 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by architect » December 10th, 2018, 5:20 pm

Yet another Randalls closure/El Rancho conversion to add to the list, this time the north Katy store at 3050 N. Fry Rd.

https://www.chron.com/business/article/ ... 455772.php

Honestly, I am not surprised by this closure. It was the last Texas store to receive a Lifestyle remodel immediately pre-merger, and many corners were cut with the remodel suggesting that Safeway was attempting to inject as little capital into this store as possible while simply attempting to keep it competitive (it's previous decor was original to the store from the late 90's). The store was also quite redundant with locations nearby at both Clay/Barker Cypress and Fry/I-10. This will also likely be a great spot for El Rancho, as the surrounding neighborhoods of Katy have a sizable Hispanic population.

Side note, the store count referenced in this article is inaccurate, there will be 21 Randalls locations left in the Houston area after this closure. I can already guess a couple of additional stores which could also be closure candidates based on nearby competition or traffic patterns; it will be interesting to see if any closure announcements are made after the holiday shopping season. There are only a couple of locations which are true gems, and at this point, Albertsons could likely get just as much value out of selling the valuable stores to other operators vs. continuing to operate them.

pseudo3d
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2512
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018: Openings and Closings

Post by pseudo3d » December 10th, 2018, 8:21 pm

I'm curious as to how Albertsons is doing the El Rancho conversions, if they're selling the stores to them or leasing them, or what.

architect
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 742
Joined: December 8th, 2015, 3:41 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018 & 2019: Openings and Closings

Post by architect » January 14th, 2019, 6:47 pm

Four Shaw's closures to add to the list in Plymouth, MA; Lynn, MA; Leominster, MA; and Portsmouth, NH:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/20 ... l#comments

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3730
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Albertsons/Safeway 2018 & 2019: Openings and Closings

Post by storewanderer » January 14th, 2019, 10:39 pm

Thornydale Safeway in Tucson is closing. I thought that store was slated for a relocation/replacement...

This is a former Abco that never got a Lifestyle remodel. Low volume operation for a while...

Post Reply